by Connor Courtien, RDPFS Intern
Photography poses one of the largest barriers to entry among all artistic mediums for people with low vision. It relies on the photographer to have a sufficient visual understanding of both their surroundings and subject in order to do their best work – whether in capturing the essence of something or chronicling a moment in time. Fortunately, new developments in the way cameras can transmit their viewfinder image to the photographer can reduce these barriers, allowing them to see their subjects with greater acuity than ever before. This is accomplished by using low-level lasers, which are completely safe for the user’s eyes, to directly beam the viewfinder image into the photographer’s retina. The technique was developed by Retissa, a technology company focused on helping those with low vision. Sony is now partnering with Retissa to bring this viewfinder, called the Retissa Neoviewer, to their HX99 point-and-shoot camera this summer and it will retail at a relatively affordable $600. Additionally, Sony plans to partner with both Japanese and American schools for the blind to get this exciting technology into the hands of those who need it most – the next generation of photographers with low vision. For more information on the release of this camera, check out this PC Magazine article Sony Develops Affordable Camera for the Visually Impaired. Also, to get a first-hand account of this camera from a photographer with low vision, be sure to look at this article from The Phoblographer.